The Buccaneers have been through this before with Ronde Barber, but this year, the decision on how (or if) they should accommodate the veteran defensive back is dragging on.
According to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, the Bucs and Barber will meet soon (unless they snuck one in already) to determine his future. But in previous years, they’ve always known what’s happening before the week leading into free agency.
Barber said after the season he needed time to think about his future, at that he was at peace if it was his final year.
But the lure of a 17th season has to be a strong one for him, and for a team that could use some leadership on defense.
Then again, he’s been bumped from corner to safety, and they drafted Mark Barron seventh overall to do what he does.
When it comes to a player such as Barber, who has spent his entire career with one franchise, there will always be an emotional component to the decision.
Maybe that’s what’s making this one take so long, as both sides ponder the inevitable end, and whether they can delay it another year.